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Tis the season to be jolly and worship By Evelyn Wall 01/03/2006 My calendar is always full at this time of year with requests from many clubs and organizations to join them during their Christmas cel

My calendar is always full at this time of year with requests from many clubs and organizations to join them during their Christmas celebrations. I want to apologize for the ones that I did not attend. However, by invitation of members Susie Bennett, vice president, and one of my closest friends, Gail Hinton-Copeland, I did join the Smart Set Club at their celebration from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Holiday Inn at Portside .

During that celebration, a delicious meal was served, members exchanged gifts, and a Chinese Auction game was played.

The Chinese Auction was new to me and highlighted the occasion. Members brought many gifts to the party and gifts were placed on a table equaling the total number of people present. Catherine Randolph conducted the game, had those present pick a number, and called each person by that number to come to the table to pick out a gift.

After all gifts were taken, she called each number again on a separate basis and asked all if they were satisfied with what they had chosen. If a person was dissatisfied with her gift, she had the option of taking one from another person holding a gift. That means that a person could end up with something that she did or did not wish to have.

I chose a beautiful gold and white clock, but lost it to another person. However, the bottle of Sweet Honesty Perfume that I ended up with is now one of my favorite fragrances. So all was not lost after all. This activity is one that will keep everyone in suspense and hoping to keep her chosen gift until the very end.

Members in attendance were Barbara Turner, president; Susie Bennett, vice president; Catherine Randolph, Dolores Rawles, Gail Hinton-Copeland, Maude Click, Mabel Lassiter, Gloria Colbert, Olivia Crawley and Beatrice Reeves. Guests were Retha Carey, Nikki Reid, Jennifer Reid, Leroy Bennett and Evelyn Wall.

Since Christmas Day fell on Sunday this year, the news media interviewed some pastors who chose not to hold a service on that day. ABC’s Channel 13 news interviewed a Rev. Gene Appel, lead pastor at Willow Creek Community Church outside Chicago. This is a non-denominational mega-church with a membership totaling about 7,000. Appel said that it has never been a tradition to hold a Christmas Day service and urged the people to spend the day at home focusing on the spirit of the season with family members. He also said that he thought God is bigger than one day.

The report said critics argue that there is something strange about a church on Christmas Day with more than 7,000 empty seats and that it’s selfish to put one’s family before the church. They also argue that keeping Christmas special and apart from some generic holiday starts with church on that special day.

I also have some thoughts on the subject that include the following. For those pastors who closed their doors because the crowd is usually scarce, the scripture says where two or more people are gathered in His name, there He will be in the midst of them.

For those pastors who say that family should celebrate at home with other family members, it is said that the family that prays together stays together, so why not in church on Christmas Day?

For all pastors who closed their doors on Christmas Day, the scripture says if we don’t praise His name, then the rocks and hills will cry out. Since this is a depressing season for some, someone may have attended whose spirits may have been lifted.

When our birthdays arrive, God doesn’t take a break from us on that day. So, since He created Sundays to praise His name, there should be no reason why we should take a break from praising His name on Sunday for the precious gift that He gave us – His son, who is the reason for the season.

My church, East End Baptist, never closes its doors for any holiday. On Sunday, we had two well-attended services and I was glad to be among the congregation.

I want to thank all those who invited me to their parties and remembered me with cards and gifts during this season.

The new year is fast approaching, so, remember to stay safe and don’t drink and drive.

Happy New Year!